Grilled Watermelon with Chile and Lime will be the hit of your summer BBQ! Sweet, subtly spicy and super refreshing, it’s the perfect side dish to all sorts of grilled foods.
Add the tangy flavor of a lime, and the spicy flavor of a hot chile to sweet, juicy watermelon and see what happens.
While most summer fruits don’t need a thing — including watermelon — it can be fun to change things up a bit.
This grilled watermelon recipe is so interesting and delicious!
How to Grill Watermelon
Preheat the grill and drizzle thick slices of watermelon with a neutral oil. (Grapeseed oil is perfect.)
Once the grill is very hot, add the watermelon slices with a couple of inches between them. If you don’t hear a sizzling sound when the fruit hits the grill, it’s not hot enough. Wait for the sizzle or you won’t get the nice grill marks that we’re after.
Grill just long enough to mark the watermelon, then flip the slices and grill for about 30 seconds.
- The goal is to mark the watermelon, adding the smoky flavor of the grill with a bit of crispness that comes along with it.
I think this Grilled Watermelon with Chile and Lime is an explosion of refreshing deliciousness.
And it’s so pretty!
Just imagine a full platter on the center of the table.
Cooking watermelon on the grill, and adding the char flavor makes this already cooling snack, all the more perfect for a hot summer day.
What to Serve with Grilled Watermelon?
So many things! Burgers, grilled chicken, salads, cocktails, and more!
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- This recipe calls for 1 (6½ pound) mini watermelon. When I see yellow mini watermelons, I like to use them along with the red ones. You can use either or both.
- Large seedless watermelons are also okay to use. You can double or triple the chile-lime marinade if you grill more slices (weight) than the recipe calls for.
- You can serve the grilled watermelon slices at room temperature, though I prefer to chill them a bit in the refrigerator.
- Be sure to only grill the slices long enough to mark them, we’re not actually cooking the melon.
- And hey, if you don’t want to grill at all — you might just love the fresh watermelon with lime juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. It’s a different vibe, but still quite delicious.
I hope you love this summer recipe as much as I do!
How Far Ahead Can You Make it?
The watermelon slices can be grilled and refrigerated up to two hours ahead of time.
More summer watermelon recipes:
- Compressed Watermelon Salad
- Watermelon Cucumber Salsa
- Watermelon Pizza Recipe with Lime
- Balsamic Watermelon Avocado Salad
- Pickled Watermelon
Grilled Watermelon with Chile and Lime
- Cut the watermelon. Slice the watermelon quarters lengthwise and place the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan (or two if necessary).
- Make the Chile-Lime marinade. In a small bowl, combine the oil, chile paste, lime zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk to blend.
- Preheat the grill. Preheat a stove-top or outdoor grill with high heat.
- Coat the watermelon slices. Drizzle about half of the chile-lime mixture over the watermelon slices and use your hands to spread it evenly. Then flip them over and drizzle the rest. To be sure they're well coated, you might need to flip them a few times and move them around the sheet pan.
- Grill. Once the grill is very hot, add the watermelon slices, being sure there is at least an inch or so between them. (If you don't hear a sizzling sound when the fruit hits the grill, it's not hot enough. Wait for the sizzle!) Grill just long enough to mark the watermelon, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip them over, and only grill the other side for about 30 seconds. (We want the watermelon to keep it's crunch.)
- Serve. Serve at room temperature or cold.